Sometimes people give me old clothes. I really like that. They tell me “This just looked like Alice,” which is flattering. Apparently I have a style. I am distinctive.
But then sometimes, I look closer at whatever they’ve given me and I wonder, “Really? That screamed my name to them from the back of their closet? Or did they just think ‘Oh. A dress. Alice wears dresses. She’ll take it.’”
Because I’m that girl. I’m a take-that-last-cookie-so-you-can-wash-the-container and take-that-dress-I’m-sure-I’ll-wear-it-tomorrow kid. I cannot resist good clothes. I avoid going to Goodwill when I’m broke because it makes me sad, and I never even look at stuff retail anymore because I get so indignant that I’m actually being charged for it.
So maybe what I end up with is a little eclectic. This is not to say, however, that I don’t have opinions. I have lots of them. Most of them are about things I love, but there are a couple strong negative ones, which I think I’m going to go ahead and share. This is the internet after all. It’s time I offended somebody.
Uggs are ugly. This should not need to be said. They are even uglier when stained with road salt. And ugliest when worn with basketball shorts, as I saw a man do in Long Beach a couple years ago.
Do not wear cargo shorts. Ever. Please don’t even ask about cargo pants. The only legitimate excuse I can come up with for such behavior is if you use all of those pockets on a regular basis, in which case, you look truly strange, but more power to you.
Maybe you think you don’t care about clothes. This entirely untrue. Even my little brother cares, evidenced by the fact that he stubbornly refuses to wear the wonderful bomber jacket my mom got him a couple years back. What you wear matters. I don’t really mind too much that he won’t wear it though, because that means I get to.
In other coat news, more men should wear pea coats. I know women are attempting to dominate that market now, as they do almost everything, but they were originally worn by sailors. So if you want them, which you should, take them back! Don’t be afraid.
Then there’s the marvelous silk one from my Grandma’s closet which I’m only just now beginning to gain confidence about. I did wear it to a wedding, though.
Final coat of note: my leopard fur (faux.) My Grandma and my cousin have matching ones, and I like to wear mine to entirely inappropriate occasions, like a low-key hall Christmas party.
If a certain piece of clothing is my favorite, I will wear it nearly anywhere. This includes my polka-dot dress which I wore to pack up last year, and my eyelet lace graduation dress which I nearly ripped playing Frisbee a few weeks back. Oops.
There’s also the brown leather and black suede skirts which I found with Hannah at Goodwill at different times. The suede particularly tends to show up in all sorts of odd places.
And the hound’s-tooth jumper that used to be my aunt’s has run the gamut from Italy to Storytime.
Then there are sweaters. Sweaterssweaterssweaters. Big, cozy, versatile sweaters. Here is a sampling of my favorites:
Orange, cashmere for fall, for crowded couches:
Dad’s, for lazy days and flat cakes:
And blue, my favorite, for pizza and everything else:
I’m also a huge fan of anything with a waist. (I assume we all know what a waist looks like…) They are the key to success. So get thee some belts and high-waisted skirts and maybe even some high-waisted pants, and have at it!
Then there’s Family Pantry gear. Obviously. (Kevin is spending the summer with me, if anyone wants him.)
I like clothes that remind me of people I love (i.e. everyone above). Maybe that’s really why I love hand-me-downs so much. They come with people and stories attached. They come loved and lovable. It is easy to forget that they’re factory made. I do care how they look, but maybe not quite as much as I like to pretend I care. Because sometimes I reserve the privilege to unapologetically wear something really hideous. Just because it sometimes makes a bad day better.